Cathedral, HanoiOne-Day Planner

Really, only one? I’d wake up with Hanoi – meaning early, like 4.45am – and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake when locals do their Jazzercise routines. After breakfast, I’d taxi to the HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM when it opens to take a quick (bizarre) look at Vietnam’s goateed hero, then get back to the center to walk around the OLD QUARTER and at least some of the FRENCH QUARTER (see Walking Tour). Time it for a good lunch – pho is super at PHO GIA TUYEN in the Old Quarter– and don’t skimp out on the HOA LO PRISON, a prison for Vietnamese revolutionaries during the French reign, and the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ during the ‘American War.’ Before dinner, I’d have a ten-cent beer or two at the BIA HOI CORNER then taxi to the artsy, shoes-off CHIM SAO for dinner, and return for a last walk around Hoan Kiem Lake.